I-9 Fines To Almost Double Effective August 1, 2016

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - 1:30pm

The DOJ announced that, effective August 1 it will be making significant increases to the schedule of fines imposed for various violations including those associated with compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 ("IRCA"). IRCA imposed sanctions on employers requiring that employers:

  • Hire only authorized workers; and
  • Comply with the “Employment Verification System” (timely completion of the Form I-9); and
  • Complete and retain the Form I-9 for all active employees hired after November 6, 1986 and retain the Form I-9 for former employees for the longer of 1 year from termination or 3 years from hire; and
  • Treat all workers equally regardless of citizenship or national origin.

Penalties for non-compliance with IRCA range from civil fines and debarment from government contracts to criminal penalties and repayment of any lost wages or rehiring of any individual discriminated against. These civil fines for to comply with Form I-9 requirements can be imposed even for "paperwork" violations such as failing to complete all required fields, or listing items in an incorrect field.

The new penalty schedule for IRCA violations effective August 1, 2016 are as follows:

  • Form I-9 Paperwork Violations:
  • Previous fine per Form I-9 violation: $110 to $1,100
    Fine effective August 1, 2016 per Form I-9 Violation: $216 to $2,126
  • Unlawful Employment of Unauthorized Workers:
    • First Offense
    • Previous fine, per worker: $375 to $3,200
      Fine effective August 1,2016 per worker: $539 to $4,313
    • Second Offense
    • Previous fine per worker: $3,200 to $6,500
      Fine effective August 1, 2016, per worker:$4,313 to $10,781
    • Subsequent Offenses
    • Previous fine, per worker: $4,300 to $16,000
      Fine effective August 1, 2016, per worker: $6,469 to $21,563
  • Unfair Immigration-Related Practices
    • First Order
    • Previous fine, per worker: $375 to $3,200
      Fine effective August 1, 2016, per worker: $445 to $3,563 (however repeat offenders could face a new maximum penalty of $21,563 per worker.)
    These fines also increase per subsequent order and frequent offenders may face a maximum fine of $17,816 per worker.

  • Unfair Immigration-Related Practices - Document Abuse
  • Previous fine, per individual:$100 to $1,100
    Fine effective August 1, 2016, per individual: $110 to $1,100

    The increase to Form I-9 fines will apply to violations that took place after November 2, 2015. Click here to view the DOJ Final Rule which includes more details on increases to monetary penalties for non-compliance.